Photographs form a record, not only of events but of moods and growing spaces across the years. As my life has taken many twists and turns, I recall the memories through my photographs.
Ponsonby Rd is probably my favourite road in Auckland. It holds for me many good, and some very bad, memories. It seems to be a place I return to again and again. I have worked in and around Ponsonby Rd for many years now, watching the changes, new shops come into being, old shops hanging on like grim death. The great hole at the top of Williamson Ave is finally filled with a Supermarket. The hole where the Yeast Factory once was.
An intensely personal moment as I lay grieving my sister in her graveyard in Tuakau. I lay in the bushes perfectly still looking at everything through the lens. The sounds the smells all seemed louder and brighter than usual and the day was still and hot. Here was I, a large woman in her fifties and there my sister lay - a child’s bones. She wasn’t there in the ground though - she was everywhere around me, the shimmer of the bee’s wing, the birds who flew close by. So many birds, I recall, all different species, and I felt comforted. She whispered in the leaves, I’m here with God, it’s all OK.
One of those outings with the photography club I once belonged to took us to Karangahake Gorge, a place I would not have visited otherwise. A beautiful spot - a small patch of light in the uncomfortable time I spent trying to belong to a club.
It appears that clubs and I are not compatible, even if I give it a good go. Afterwards and for the longest time I could not pick up a camera having left the club. Years in fact, so great was my disappointment.
Another Photography club jaunt. We were to do the Tongariro Crossing 19km, of which I did 7km - and was very, very, proud of myself. I was recovering from two broken feet, and being, in general, one of the most unfit people I know, it was an acheivement to be proud of. I look at the lovely pink Heather in this shot and think of Chris who stayed with me, encouraging me all the way, even though he could probably have walked the crossing and back in the time it took me to do my bit.
I recall the excitement of the day, so may people crowding the wharfs for a glimpse of this magnificent vessel as she sailed into Auckland early one morning. The smaller vessels scurrying around like maidservants and footmen, ensuring her safe passage. Chris by my side this morning also, helping with the tripod, finding a good place to park.
I look at this and don’t see the yachts and the sunset, but think of my dear friend who lives close by. Dragged down by her compulsion to drink, impossible to talk to when she’s drunk, stubborn and in denial. I feel sadness and frustration looking at the yachts tied to their moorings as the sun sinks down. Sometimes I look at my images and wonder why there are no people in them. But there are - they are full of them.